A lack of snow in mountain regions has become a real problem for some Swiss ski resorts. People's livelihoods rely on the business that comes with skiing, and mountain regions are forced to make artificial snow to ensure the pistes can open. But this process comes at a cost. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
The production of artificial snow uses a lot of natural resources and energy. Some ski resorts have been using a different technique to try and make artificial snow production more efficient in terms of both natural resources, and money.
Gstaad, for example, is now using a snow depth measuring system. Every time a snow groomer (the truck that prepares the pistes) drives over the snowy surface, the depth of snow is measured, and the data sent back to a database.
Drivers can see the information on the spread of snow on screens inside their cabins, and can react, based on how deep the snow should be. They then focus artificial snow production on specific areas. The management of snow levels has meant the resort has not had to produce as much snow as it used to.